Friday, January 24, 2014

The economy, stupid!

"It is strange, isn’t it? The same people who laugh at fortune tellers take economists seriously." The anonymous quotation clearly reflects the state of opinion today about the economic scenario that awaits us after six years of chained recessions and a crises whose exit is not clear yet.

Davos (Switzerland) is one of the places where the future of the economy is debated at the World Economic Forum.* This controversial but unquestionable influence annual meeting returns to bring to one of the documents with a greater chance for the future: Risk and responsibility in a hyperconnected economy. This is a report which is periodically developed and this time has been developed supported by McKinsey Consultancy. Among others, this document gathers the seven key points to face cybersecurityfrom models that have to be different, but also based on a common consensus.

But as the world economy continues to lurch, or perhaps precisely because of this, cybercriminals are clear about their goal: to get money quickly, easily and inexpensively. There is a video that shows how simple, dizzying and accessible is to clone hundreds, thousands of debit/credit cards. It is not just theory: a band that was stealing money from clients refueling cloning cards via Bluetooth in the U.S. fell on hand of justice. Economy and technology go forward along with risk: greater facilities also mean greater chances of falling into their trap.

An example of this is the integration of search by voice commands in Google Chrome browser: a great ally for a more comfortable and smooth navigation... and also to expose all your private conversations. Who wants a NSA having at hand a vulnerability like that? Besides economy, security and risk have another thing in common: the ethical hackers that push the limits of technology and make a living finding vulnerabilities. One of them got up to 33,500 dollars from Facebook, after exploiting some Open ID vulnerabilities for which Google offered only $ 500. Not bad for a time of crisis. Do they know about this in Davos?

Maybe the owners of the world prefer to keep focussing debate on economy and cybersecurity than pursuing copyright violators which is something to take in consideration but with a very limited perspective. *In that case we would find some grotesque situations like the one experienced in a cinema in the U.S.,* where the police carried out a huge operation to arrest a man who had accessed the room with a Google Glass. The man, who did not make use of them for any criminal activity, was treated as a criminal of maximum danger for one hour. And on top of absurdity, he said he used the big G glasses by medical prescription.

A few years ago information security might seem something of soothsayers. Today it is a matter of incalculable value. Any link between this issue and the world leaders is welcome. It would be a win-win situation, not just for those who have machines to store private data that is statistically impossible to be entirety processed.


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